Power Rankings have been rating sports teams throughout their seasons for years based on statistical analysis, momentum and gut feelings. Those folks shouldn't have all the fun.
Using our, er, proprietary technology -- based on sales and airplay charts, magazine covers, twitter trends, and, of course, gut feelings -- we bring you HuffPost's Pop Power Rankings, our weekly roundup of who's on top (and who has fallen off) in the pop game.
1. Taylor Swift
Everyone wants a piece of Taylor Swift. Her new album Red was released to rave reviews and the biggest sales debut in 10 years (1.2 million copies, thank you very much). I don't care who you are, you've tapped your feet to "We are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Although, this Top 40 push away from Taylor's core of country fans is worrying <a href="http://blogs.leaderpost.com/2012/11/05/bob-lefsetz-weighs-in-on-taylor-swift/">super-pundit Bob Lefsetz</a> (case in point her complete shut out at the Country Music Awards). But this week, it's still working in her favor.
2. Nicki Minaj
It's hard to keep track of everything Nicki going on right now. She's off on her international <em>Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded</em> tour, released a new video, joined <em>American Idol</em> as a judge and now, as of last night, debuted her reality show miniseries <em>Nicki Minaj: My Truth</em>. Here she showcased the kind of staged, fan-loving, eye-shadowed, Perez Hilton-confronting drama we've come to expect from an E! network narcissism-fest. And with all of this madness, it's starting to feel like she's playing with fire -- today's leak of new song "Freedom" has been met with criticism for being about the pitfalls of fame (uh, Nicki... Your hometown of Queens, NY was almost leveled last week?!). But the sheer number of plates Nicki is spinning has kept her on top... for now.
Rihanna's new single "Diamonds" was EVERYWHERE about 10 minutes after it came out, and as it settles in towards the top of the charts, she's announced that her new <em>Unapologetic</em> album (out November 19) will be available in an "Executive Platinum" edition -- $250 for some bonus remixes, posters and stickers. That's pop power. As for rumors that she's back dating a guy who's on probation for assaulting her, it has <a href="http://www.theprovince.com/Katy+Perry+drops+Rihanna+because+Chris+Brown/7500035/story.html">allegedly cost her BFF</a> Katy Pery and could eventually hamper her power ranking, too.
So maybe a follow-up to "Gangnam Style" is taking too long, but somehow the song is holding in the top 5, Psy is still being managed by the Bieber machine, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with him to relinquish his title as "world's most famous Korean." No big deal. Also, after winning over Toronto during his first Canadian concert last week, he got 20,000 Parisians doing a "Gangnam" <a href="http://www.expatica.com/fr/news/french-news/psy-draws-thousands-to-gangnam-style--paris-flashmob_249480.html">flashmob at the Eiffel Tower</a> earlier today. Not to mention his mega-viral music video, currently clocking 650,000,000 Youtube views is expected to pass Bieber's record later this month. But seriously Psy, time to ride that invisible horse back into the studio.
5. Bruno Mars
A couple weeks ago Bruno Mars surprised us all by carrying <em>Saturday Night Live</em> to not only one of its best host performances in years (including this weekend's unfortunate Louis CK effort), but their best ratings this season. Now with his new single "Locked Out of Heaven," Bruno shook off his lightweight radio-friendliness for a stripped-down, The Police-aping style, and yet there it sits, #2 at iTunes. He's already released a new slow song, "Young Girls," to keep his original fanbase happy, and they'll likely be too distracted by the sweeping strings to notice the sleazy lyrics.
Pop Power Fail – No Doubt
The No Doubt comeback machine hasn't been having the best luck in their bid for pop power. First single "Settle Down" did well with fans, but went up in smoke at radio, and now this week they've pulled their new video for 'Looking Hot' after outcry from Native Americans saying it was insensitive. The video depicted Gwen strutting her stuff in a skimpy Native outfit by a teepee, and since November is Native American History Month, not such a great idea for a video, guys.